Thursday 28 November 2013

One more days delay

Hi all,
Well it had to happen, sods law and all that.  Fernwood's called today to say that the crane that will launch AmyJo has broken down and so she will now have to wait until Saturday for their other crane to be available.  The marina will not allow any other company to crane boats in so we have no choice but to wait one more day. 

Andy at Fernwoods did his best to try to convince them to let us use another company to save time but they would have none of it.  Poor chap was having a real bad day of it I reckon,  He sounded pretty miffed on the phone but was extremely apologetic.  We don't blame him its not his fault.

Still the one up side of it is the forecast is better for Saturday and we may even see some sun though it does mean our first cruise will be a lot shorter than was planned. 

Going to need some fresh ice for that Champaign.

Wednesday 27 November 2013

All set to get wet

Just a quick post tonight to say AmyJo today received her boat safety certificate so now its all systems go for Friday.

I also got her insurance sorted and if anyone is interested it is with Navigators and General who we insure our dinghy with.  They gave a very competitive quote and will also cover for permanent live aboard too.

The Champaign has be bought, the Newcastle Brown is ready to christen AmyJo and the weather is set to be a bit mizzly/showery. Guess we're gonna get wet on the outside as well as inside then ;-)

To say we're excited is an understatement. 

Saturday 23 November 2013

Apologies and the latest photos

Hi all,
First of all can I apologise for not posting as promised last night.  Chris and I had a last minute invitation to join Amy and Joanne on a night out for a drink or 4.  These days with our busy lives it is a rare event for all of us to be able to get together and let our hair down (not that I have much hair these days let alone some to let down) so we could not refuse.  Arriving home at 2am in the morning was not a good time to type, especially when the keys on the keyboard seemed to do the conga. 

Any hoo I promised photos of AmyJo's progress inside and here they are. Starting in the Cratch we now have a fold up table that I can see holding drinks on many a summers evening.  I can see us spending a lot of time out here.

The saloon now looks amazing as the upholstery has arrived and installed on the chettee. Of course Chris just had to try it out and even I have to admit it is really comfy. 

We also have the roman blinds installed over the port holes.  We kept them very simple so as not to dominate the space.

The galley is now complete and the cupboard doors and handles are in place.  Like the saloon the colour has given the galley a lovely homely feel.

I think my favourite room is going to be the day room.  Although the cushions had yet to be added (they are still wrapped up in the office) the room already feel like a retreat from the busy world outside.  Those of you who have been reading our blog for a while may remember the expensive piece of artwork we bought at Crick this year and that we had a place in mind for it?  Well the boys have made us a frame to display it and it looks just perfect

This visit we got to try out the day room table and it is quite large, just as well as we foresee many guests sitting round with us this at meal times.

The wet room now has the shower screen but other than that has not changed since the last photos.

In our bedroom the wardrobe doors and handles have been added and the mattress for the bed will be added soon


You can just see in the above photo that the back cabin steps are now boarded out.  Access to the stern is actually really easy thanks to our wide hatch despite looking cramped as it does in this photo.


We love what Fernwood have achieved for us.  Every time we see AmyJo we find new things to look at and every now and then a little surprise Rob and the boys have built in are discovered that bring grins to our faces.  To say we are delighted is an understatement. 

This time last year was really not a good time for us with the loss of Chris's dad Roy, and then shortly after her mum, Mary, taken seriously ill in hospital that ended up with her losing a leg.  All though that time AmyJo's build seemed a world away but everyone, including our readers, helped to lift our spirits by saying it will be worth the wait in the end, and they were so right.  Now, standing on AmyJo's stern we feel so happy and excited.  I guess this must be the best Christmas present Chris and I have ever had :-)  Hold on, there's a thought, I wonder how Ferwoods are going to wrap her up and how many sheets of paper they are going to need... oh yes I forgot they have already done that once....

So now we wait for Friday for the big event when AmyJo finally gets her base plates wet and we can spend our first cruise on her.  If you see us on the cut please give us a wave and say hello, we would love to meet you all sometime and have a natter, so long as its not about toilets :-).

Thursday 21 November 2013

Jubilation and a tad disapointed but not for long

Hi all,
Chris and I have had a lovely time over at Fernwood's workshop today.  AmyJo is now looking resplendent and is very nearly completed, just odds and ends needed to finish her.  There is one small problem that has thrown our plans out of kilter but I'll explain later.

This visit there was a lot to see outside of AmyJo as boat painter Andy Russell was hard at work Painting AmyJo's name on when we arrived.

I confess I was a little concerned as the colouring for the name did not look good against the panel but I need not have worried.  Andy's magic touch did the trick and an hour later this is the beautiful result

Towards the front of the cabin Andy has incorporated our initials into a scroll.  We had seen this done before and thought it would look nice.

Finally for the bow cheeks we wanted to add another reference to our sailing but wanted something totally different.  I proposed a design I had put together to Andy and he then put this on AmyJo.  We think it works rather well.

Interestingly once that had been done another aspect of the design became apparent we had not considered at all.  Looking at AmyJo head on the bow motives on either side look like a flotilla of boats coming towards you.

From this picture you have probably deduced that the Cratch board and cover are in place.  We are particularly please with this as the material in grey in colour and complements the overall colour scheme perfectly.  The side panels have lift up flaps to reveal a clear panel and the whole side panel can be rolled up out of the way if necessary

But for me the jewel in the artwork has to be the rear door panels. These are now in place and look superb.
What I really like is from inside when the doors are closed they look like windows with the view outside

AmyJo's interior is pretty much finished and the fabrics have arrived on board.  The has changed the feel of the cabin for the better as if makes it look even more homely.  I'll post these tomorrow.

Oh and the problem I mentioned?  Well, unfortunately due to circumstances beyond Fernwoods control AmyJo's launch has had to be postponed a couple of days to Friday.  Can't be helped but after all this time what are a few days.  The long wait is nearly over but by Jiminy its been worth it.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

The writing is on the Cabin Wall

Hi all,
With all the cold weather forecast about to settle in we hope all is well with your world and "your prop continues to turn" as some one once said.

Just a quick post tonight to say we're off on our final visit to Fernwood's workshop tomorrow to see how progress is getting on with AmyJo.  Everything is still on track at the moment for launching on 27th so her build should be nearing completion by now.

We got a telephone call from Andy Russell tonight informing us he was going to Fernwood's tomorrow as well so we should be able to see him in action on AmyJo's artwork.  I have to say this is truly exciting and we cannot wait to see the result.  We'll have the promised photo of the stern door panels I raved out about last week.

The car has been packed with stuff to put aboard that will travel well whilst AmyJo is transported to the launch site.  Things like bedding, gas bottles, the captain's chair and so on.

I'll post some photos on our return as I'm sure a lot will have been done since our last visit.

If anyone is interested we bought two of the above smoke alarms in B&Q the other day for AmyJo.  That's my mobile phone in front.  These are tiny compared to most smoke alarms and reasonably priced at £5 odd too. 

Monday 11 November 2013

The doors blew us away, not us blowing the doors off.

An odd title I know but I could not resist the reference to a well known Italian job phrase "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off"  

We got a text from Andy Russell last night with a photo of AmyJo's rear door panel artwork we have commissioned him to do and....

We are absolutely blown away with them, they are stunning and that is an understatement!

Instead of roses and castles we wanted a reminder of our sailing so our brief was to incorporate our Enterprise dinghy somehow into the panels.  We gave this photo to Andy... 

  It is of us sailing "Heavens Ent" on a lovely summer's evening on the river Dee just upstream of the weir last year.  That's Chris you can see in the photo and I am opposite her just out of sight.  We asked him if he could reproduce it showing our dinghy in daylight on one panel and at sunset on the other.  I have to say Andy has done just that and the result is truly amazing to say the least.  I want to wait until we see the doors ourselves before posting a photo for you as Andy's text photo is not very clear when enlarged for the blog and won't do them the justice they deserve.  With any luck we'll see them on our next visit on the 21st so will reveal them then.

We can see now why Andy is in demand.  He is an excellent painter and we really look forward to see what he will come up with on AmyJo's cabin sides for her name.

Saturday 9 November 2013

The Inside Story

Hi all

My apologies for the relatively short post yesterday. I'm now sporting new glasses with a new prescription that are taking a bit of getting used to. The varifocal width is different to my old specs and so the drawback is headaches while I get used to them. I'm sure that will dissipate as my eyes get accustomed to the new glasses.

As promised here are the pictures of progress on AmyJo's interior starting from the stern working forward.

In the back cabin the electrics and controls cupboards are nearly finished with just the switches for the navigation light, tunnel lamp and horn to go on. There are also a few doors to be put on too

Like Tom on Waiouru, I too now have a garden shed though construction is far from complete. The metal frame is bolted together in sections and can be completely removed for access if required while the wooden cover panels will also be removable for day to day maintenance. Apart from the batteries to go in under the steps the engine is now pretty much complete and ready to run.

The rear bathroom is now complete with cupboard doors. I did not photograph it as it was pretty complete last time I was there, just doors missing that are now in place.

In our bedroom the wardrobes, cupboards and chest of drawers are all in pace as is the bed though the wardrobe doors and door handles are yet to be done.

The dayroom/second bedroom is almost complete.  The side door windows are installed as is the glass cabinet and both washing machine and tumble drier are now in place.


The cupboard doors in the open position close off the day room giving privacy when used as a second bedroom


In the wet room the vanity unit is now installed as is the toilet.  The shower is complete apart from the screen.  We also have Fernwoods now familiar under gunnels cupboards for storage.  We like the way they are hidden away when closed.


Next the Galley has had the worktops, sink and hob put in place.  The cupboard doors were being prepared while I was visiting so should be installed on our next visit.



Finally the saloon was looking fantastic with the floor being polished, the TV cabinet in place but needing completing.  Best of all the hobbit was now sporting it’s flue and was ready to be used, we're looking forward to that.


As I mentioned in our last post the end of the fit out is now in sight and we are over the moon with AmyJo so far.  Already we feel she will be comfortable and look forward to spending time getting to know her when she is launched on the 27th.  Andy Russell, our artist, is on hand ready to do AmyJo’s external artwork a week after next and is already working on the back cabin doors as I type.  
We have been busy at home buying all manner of things like mugs, tea, coffee  and sugar jars, table mats and coasters. All the usual paraphernalia needed to live on board. The bank manager’s smile has receded with every withdrawal but we think it worth every penny so far.  I have also got an insurance quote to hand and once we have the final price for AmyJo from Fernwoods that will be in place for launch.  I use Navigators and General for our Enterprise dinghy and they have given me a very good quote to insure AmyJo so we look like using them.

So that's the latest so far.  Chris and I have one final visit to the workshop on the 21st before launch day and by then AmyJo should be pretty much ready for the cut and system testing will be taking place.  Last thing then is the boat safety certificate so we’ll have our fingers crossed for that.

Friday 8 November 2013

Getting the blues.

Hi all,
Yesterday was time for another visit to the Fernwood workshop for a bi weekly fix on AmyJo's fit out progress and as always I was not disappointed.  I say "I" as this time was a solo visit as Chris was working.

AmyJo really is starting to look magnificent as now the end of the fit out is in sight and all the fittings and fixtures are starting to go in.

Starting with outside, AmyJo now sports a colourful derriere as the stern has had the tunnel bands painted but, while nothing is traditional with AmyJo we decided to depart from the standard cream and red.  The purists among you may not agree with our choice but we think the blue looks lovely and will be in keeping with our colour scheme throughout.  I'm told the tunnel bands were originally to make the boat visible when in a tunnel and would show up in the gloom when a light was shone.  Modern navigation lights make this less of a requirement these days so maybe colour choice is not so important.


The well deck has received some paint and the inside of the lockers too.  The bow and foredeck well be done next week.

The front doors are now installed and treated.  These are barn door styled so we can change how much opening we want.

For the vertically challenged we have had side steps added on all four corners of the cabin to help in get up onto the roof.  I have to admit they will help even those of lofty disposition.

 A clue to the fact the log burner flue has been installed is evident with this rather natty rain cap for when the fire is not in use being seen.

Back at the stern two helmspersons seats have been added and now await their wooden seats.

The outer side doors are now in place with their wood panelling to complete the cabin sides

AmyJo's interior build is very nearly finished and finishing touches are going in but that is for another post.  I'll post the interior pictures tomorrow.